© Jelleke Vanooteghem
Warm sunny days, long pink twilights, sparkling sea, Antibes is the perfect place for a picnic.
Whether you want to eat on a rocky headland with a view across the Bay of Angels, on a Riviera beach with people playing volleyball on the sand, or by a lake in the quiet hills, Antibes is full of wonderful picnic opportunities.
Here are some of the best picnic spots in Antibes, as well as some local’s tips on the best places to shop for your picnic.
Plage du Ponteil and Plage de la Salis
These two beaches that are very popular for picnics, particularly as the heat of day diminishes. On balmy evenings, the sandy beach and the promenade are covered in happy groups having picnics, playing volleyball and swimming in the calm sea long into the night. There’s a great mix of locals and tourists gathered here, listening to music and playing games on the sand.
There’s also a playground on the promenade for kids and a small Casino supermarket across the street has all the basics (wine, cheese, snacks, meats, fruit, etc.) that you’ll need for a picnic if you don’t feel like carrying things over from the Old Town.
This is an iconic Antibes experience and one of the cheapest, most atmospheric things you can do on your holiday.
Plage de la Gravette
This soft sand beach nestled right in the heart of the old town by the port is a lovely place for a picnic, whether finding a piece of shade under the high rampart walls in the heat of the day or settling in with a twilight picnic as the sunset turns the sea and sky pink.
You have a great view across to the Cap d’Antibes from this beach, and the water is very calm and protected. It’s a very short walk down from the Provençal market, so it’s an ideal spot for an easy picnic.
Right on the end of the first headland of the Cap d’Antibes there are a couple of tiny coves where people like to gather in the evenings having picnics, fishing from the rocks, playing music and swimming and snorkelling.
From here you have a glorious view of Antibes with its cluster of old buildings and superyacht port, and across the Bay of Angels (La Baie des Anges) to the Alps rising up behind Nice. This picnic spot is probably too far to walk from Antibes if you’re carrying picnic gear, so you can either drive and park on Boulevard Bacon or take the bus and alight just opposite the Bacon restaurant.
Port Vauban Park
If you fancy a picnic on the nice green grass with a view of the superyachts, there’s a lovely stretch of lawn and palm trees down by Port Vauban.
Set your picnic up under a shady tree and enjoy the sea breeze coming off the port. However, do be aware that this is a dog-friendly park, so check the ground first before laying your picnic blanket down.
Lac de Saint Cassien
You’ll need a car for this one but it’s well worth the 40-minute drive out of Antibes into the hills to the lake of Saint-Cassien.
This large, deep lake is surrounded by forest and rolling hills, and there is a multitude of coves, little beaches and perfect picnic spots all around the edge. During the summer, there’s often an inflatable waterpark set up right in the middle of the lake, and there are pedalos with waterslides and kayaks for hire.
Shallow and warm at the edges, the lake does get deep and cold in the middle; the perfect refresher on a hot summer day! Swim, feast on your picnic under the shade of a tree and then lie back, listen to the cicadas and watch the sun sparkle off the water in the languid heat of a summer day in the South of France.
Shopping for your picnic
When in the South of France, shopping for your picnic is half the fun.
Get your pastries from a good patisserie such as Patisserie Cottard or Atelier Jean Luc Pele.
Crunchy fresh baguettes and pissaladerie are particularly delicious from the Boulangerie Veziano on Rue du Pompe near the market, or from A l’Epi d’Or on Rue de la Republique near the carousel.
The produce at the covered Provençal market is excellent, and this is the best place to shop for seasonal fruits, cured meats, soft local cheeses and olives and sundried tomatoes. Do be aware that the Antibes market is generally more expensive than the supermarket.
There’s also a great cheese shop just off the market on Rue Sade.
Other easy picnic options are the round Spanish egg and ham tortilla you can buy from the supermarket or a roast chicken from one of the rotisseries in town – Miam Miam up by the small Carrefour supermarket is the best of them all!
Don’t forget an icy cold bottle of rosé or two and lots of cold water to keep hydrated – most supermarkets will sell ‘chilly bags’ to keep your picnic cool if you don’t have a cool box.